City Wonders, Madrid

4.0
#183 of 209 in Tours in Madrid
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City Wonders Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5.0
19 reviews
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3.0
TripAdvisor
  • It was billed as a small group tour. Imagine my surprise when I turned up and was the only one booked. I thought they would've cancelled but instead I got a private tour! Fernando was great, very know...  more »
  • This is the best tour ever. Our guide Alberto was excellent, we enjoyed the whole experience very much. It was a well expend money, totally worth it. A lot of details and well organized.  more »
Google
  • Turin (Torino) Day Trip from Milan via High Speed Train - One day is not enough to experience the wonders of Torino. I could spend a day just walking the city and enjoying the world-class architecture and spectacular piazzas. Fortunately, we had a great guide who was warm, friendly, knowledgeable, and excited about sharing her wonderful city. And, that made all the difference for the short time we had. Our tour guide, Carol, has been giving tours of Torino for over 20 years. And, it was obvious from the start that she loves what she does. In our short time together, we explored, the Piazza Costello, Palazzo Carignano, the Cathedral, Piazza San Carlo, and the Royal Library. We were also able to sample local chocolate and gelato. It was a memorable experience.
  • We booked the City Wonders VIP half day tour of Versailles, which was supposed to include the private apartments, going inside the chapel, etc. The worst tour we have ever been on. What did we get? A whirlwind sprint through some of the public rooms of the chateau that lasted 1 hour and 17 minutes. Yes, I timed it. I also timed the amount of time we spent with a massive number of other people there for various City Wonders tours on the logistics of splitting up into our color coded groups. There were about 60 to 70 people at the meeting point. We spent 1 hour and 27 minutes on the logistics of splitting up into the individual groups. It was chaos -- poorly organized, incredibly poor customer service with the 5 or 6 City Wonders staff spending more time visiting and chatting with each other, than communicating to their tour groups. The morning of our tour had an additional challenge that was outside of City Wonders control, which was a strike by the Versailles staff. The loss of time due to this strike is not included at all in the times I provided above. The strike lasted from 8am opening until the gates were finally opened at about 10:20 AM. The times I tracked above are all AFTER the strike was over. Rather than using the time during the strike to organize the 60 to 70 or so people there for these various City Wonders tours, they visited with each other and had a smoke or two. When we finally did go into the chateau we were told by our guide that the chapel and private rooms that we were scheduled to go in to, where closed so they would not be included in our tour. When we got to the chapel, there was clearly another tour group inside the chapel taking pictures and wandering around. When I asked our guide why, she became visibly frustrated and tried to rationalize the situation by claiming they were Versailles staff. When I pointed out the tour group sign and the obvious tourists in the group wandering around taking pictures, she became more flustered and mentioned that City Wonders had to make difficult choices to get back on schedule. We paid for a 1/2 day tour. What we got was a 1 hour and 17 minute sprint through some of the public areas with a guide that went so fast that she was at times a full two rooms ahead of many people in the group. After the tour was over, I went back around to the offices to check with the Versailles staff. When I asked whether the chapel or private rooms had been closed to tour groups for the day, I was told no, they were not. City Wonders lied to us. They made a decision to sacrifice our tour, in order to get back on schedule. After raising issues, I was told we would get refunds. We got a tiny refund amounting to a small fraction of what we had paid. We had planned for an entire half a day tour, and ended up with a 1 hour and 17 minute tour that was substantially less valuable than a walk through on our own, reading information from our iPhones. City Wonders is a dishonest company. We will never book with them again.
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